Spain: For Art?

Tapas, siestas, bullfighting, and flamenco: Spain in a nutshell, right? Wrong. As is the case with most countries, people often overlook some of the finer things. Spain is no different, with the country’s art being the offended party. The Italian masters may have dominated the artistic landscape in past centuries, but the Spanish painters have a style that they’ve made their own and has stood the test of time.


You’ll find the largest collection of Spanish art at the Museo del Prado, in the heart of Madrid. The museum is also home to one of the finest collections of European art, with over 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings behind its doors. Spanish art is just a weekend to Madrid, so holidaymakers can see the city and make their holiday a cultural one too.

Here are some of the top Spanish painters.

Francisco Goya

Regarded both as one of the last old masters, and the first of the moderns, Goya was one of the most influential artists to come out of the 18th century. He was known as a story teller and a commentator of his era, with his pieces influencing artists many generations later, such as Manet and Picasso. One of his most controversial pieces “The Disasters of War,” chronicles the Peninsular War through a series of 82 prints. It was only 35 years after Goya’s death that these prints were released, the wait being deemed necessary due to the bombastic nature of the prints.

Pablo Picasso

Yes, Picasso is from Spain —Malaga, in fact — even though he spent a lot of his life in France. He drew much of his inspiration from his home country, the bullfight being a much used subject in his work. He painted one of his most famous pieces, “Guernica,” in protest at the bombing of the Basque village Guernica.

Salvador Dali

Eccentric… genius… Dali was an artist who painted like he lived, and his art lives on in museums and dorm rooms alike. Highly imaginative, he was also a photographer, sculptor, and writer, but it was his surrealist paintings that drew acclaim, “The Persistence of Memory,” being his most well known. His antics were also legendary, including showing up for a lecture he was giving, complete in a diving suit and helmet. He said he “just wanted to show I was plunging deeply into the human mind.”

Spanish artists have yielded some of the world’s greatest masterpieces… pieces that stand out in the mind and in history. “Guernica”… “The Persistence of Memory”… people come from all over the world to contemplate and appreciate them, meaning it’s not just tapas that have put Spain on the map. Admire!



  1. fynesdesigns says

    I hope to get to Europe someday, maybe spain, to see all the great artwork!

  2. I have dreams of visiting Spain…sipping spanish coffee, dipping churraco's….One day. One day!

  3. WOW I didn't realize there were so many artists from Spain! I'd love to visit and see those sites in real life!
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  4. I LOVE this post! I actually wanted to be a curator in an art gallery when I was in university! This brings back memories of Art History class 🙂
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  5. I've never really been into art but I love that travel opens your eyes to knew things!

  6. I love art in the form of historical buildings. I cannot wait to travel Europe and see such beauty!
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  7. What a beautiful place! I would so so love to visit all of Europe someday…

  8. Spain is on my travel bucket list. And in addition to the art, they also have awesome food!

  9. Inspire Me Heather says

    I love Spain! Great post, thanks!!
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